Photo by Tere Poplin
GREENVILLE, S.C. – (Box Score | Invitational Schedule) The opening game of the 2016 NAIA Women’s Lacrosse National Invitational proved to be a nail-biter, as No. 3 Lawrence Tech (Mich.) defeated No. 6 Columbia (S.C.), 10-7, Wednesday morning at Sirrine Stadium.
With the win, Lawrence Tech (15-7) advances into the semifinals of the national invitational and plays the winner of No. 2 Georgetown (Ky.) and No. 7 Tennessee Wesleyan Friday at 10 a.m. EDT.
It was Lawrence Tech’s Isabelle Vickers who made NAIA women’s lacrosse history with the event’s first-ever goal eight minutes into the first half. Alyssa Shaver, who was announced as a First Team All-American yesterday, added another less than one minute later, as the Blue Devils took a 4-1 advantage into the break.
Kadijah Kalo – the other First Team All-American for Lawrence Tech – tallied three of her game-high six points in the opening frame with two goals and an assist. Kalo ended the contest with three goals and three assists. The East Lansing, Mich., native also tallied a game-high 12 shots with seven on frame.
Lawrence Tech held a 14-8 advantage in shots with five each coming from Kalo and Vickers in the opening 30 minutes.
Columbia scored four of the first five goals to open the second half to knot the game, 5-5, with 17:59 left on the clock. Aaleeyah Brimmer netted the game-tying goal – her only score of the game – off an assist by Kendra Blackstock.
The contest was back-and-forth until the 6:40 mark of the second stanza when Paige Holcomb of Lawrence Tech caught a ricochet off the Columbia goalkeeper’s stick and deposited it into the back of the cage. The score gave the Blue Devils a 7-6 lead, an advantage they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
The two sides traded goals around the five-minute mark, before Lawrence Tech sealed the victory with a pair of scores in the final 62 seconds.
Kendra Blackstock registered a team-high three goals and one assist in the loss for Columbia. Goalkeeper Natalie Dubas registered 15 saves, including 10 in the second half.
Columbia is eliminated from the National Invitational and ends the year with a 16-7.
For more information on the NAIA Lacrosse National Invitational, click here.